By Veronica Killefer, COM 250 Reporter
Edited by Julianne Kucera, COM 303 Editor
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – The newly popularized game Wordle can have cognitive benefits in terms of memory improvements for students and faculty at Berry College.
Wordle exploded in popularity at the beginning of the new year. Since its launch in October, it has taken the world by storm, with millions of players trying to guess one five-letter word daily in less than six attempts.
Emily Kaszubowski, a senior at Berry College, said she uses Wordle daily.
“Wordle is a constant in my life,” Kaszubowski said. “Something that I can go to every day as something to do.”
The game is based on color-guessing. A player will guess a five-letter word, and the game will tell them which letters are correct or incorrect. A green letter signifies a letter in the correct position in the word. A yellow letter signifies a letter that is in the word but located in the wrong position. Finally, a gray letter signifies a letter that is not in the word.
After players complete the game, they can share their daily Wordle results on social media.
One reason for Wordle’s sudden popularity may be the game’s social aspect. Wordle made it easy to share results online. This resulted in players posting their results and competing with others’ knowledge and scores.
Courtney Hughes, a sophomore at Berry College, said she had experienced the social aspect of Wordle as a student.
“It’s definitely a conversation starter,” Hughes said. “A way to connect with people.”
The connection through this shared experience can give players a sense of belonging among their fellow Wordle-players. Some people choose to play this game for a daily sense of connection to others.
Wordle is also based on memory and people’s ability to recall words.
Due to the repetition of daily use, players engaged in specific behaviors that allowed for cognitive benefits to occur.
Dr. Miguel Ampuero is a psychology and applied behavioral analysis professor at Berry College. As a behavior analyst, Ampuero studies the basic principles of behavior within observable environments. He predicts behaviors by analyzing people’s actions. He said that playing Wordle has cognitive benefits due to daily use.
“You do it over and over again because it produces something good for you,” Ampuero said.
Ampuero said that it also allows players to display their improvements through their results.
Players can become actively engaged in specific behaviors that may improve long-term and short-term memory when they play Wordle. He said that long-term and short-term memory improvements are due to verbal behavior during remembering.
“Verbal behavior is when you’re talking yourself through remembering,” Ampuero said. “There are multiple basic units of language that are involved in you being successful at completing that specific task.”
“This game may maintain these specific facts and words because you are constantly practicing them, so engaging in behaviors that will enforce latent stimulation to improve memory,” Ampuero said.
Due to Wordle’s widespread popularity, people questioned whether the game could become habit-forming and potentially have adverse effects.
If players’ repeated interactions with the game begin to draw them away from their responsibilities, Ampuero said it could negatively impact them
A negative impact on students or faculty would result from overuse of the game.
“Overuse may have an impact on how much you want something,” Ampuero said. “So, if I play the game over and over again during the day, at some point, it’s going to feel like you’re tired of it. So, you’re going to do less to approach the game.”
Too much access to something can decrease your motivation to keep doing it, according to Ampuero.
Players may, however, have difficulty overusing Wordle since the game is updated every day.
Wordle became highly popularized, but it is unknown whether the game will maintain its prominent presence.
Hughes said that she was unsure if she would continue her daily use of Wordle.
“I think I’m going to play for at least another few weeks,” Hughes said. “But I think eventually it will die out.”